Pull weeds while you’re talking on the phone- better yet, while you’re on hold.  Yesterday I managed to get the above bed completely weeded, plus another one (3x50) while waiting to speak to a real human on the phone.  

 Go for a walk or a run outside; when you’re, do your stretches next to something that needs weeded.  Hey, if you’ve gotta bend over anyway, you might as well make your hands useful!

Pinch little weeds out as soon as you can identify them.  This is a bit of a change from what I used to do, pulling them out as soon as they appeared.  Years ago a wise neighbor pointed out all the volunteer perennials in her flower beds… and changed forever how I weed.  Instead of indiscriminately pulling every seedling in the bed, now I only pull when I know what it is.  This isn’t as hard as it seems; 90% of the weeds in my yard are one of the same nine or ten plants.  Figure out what your common weeds are, and learn to identify them as small as possible.  If you don’t know what it is yet, let it grow until you do.  There are only a few plants that will spread horribly if you wait- and you’ll be able to identify those pretty quickly.  Generally speaking, most plants spread only once they’ve flowered and set seeds.  You’ll get a lot of pleasant surprises by weeding this way; right now close to 1/3 of the flowers in my yard are volunteers!  I’ve even had bushes and trees free this way.

Use weeding time as one-on-one time with a child. Let them tell you about their day, or their new project, or the book they've been reading, or whatever else.  I have great memories of fixing barb-wire fences on our farm because of this- it meant time to talk with my dad.

Spend time in your yard, in all parts of the yard.  You’ll better notice what needs done.  And you’ll enjoy it much more than from indoors!  Another neighbor told me to have a place to sit somewhere on each side of the house.  Sit and read, or watch the kids, watch the sky, watch the bugs, whatever brings you joy.  Gather a bunch of fresh flowers for a vase every couple days.  Enjoy those efforts!

 
 
By Dennis Weaver, preparedpantryblog.com,  May 13, 2013

This is the omelet for the omelet challenged.  Never make an ugly omelet again.  It’s nearly foolproof, it’s simple, and it’s quick.

We set off to make the best and easiest omelet, something that even a beginning cook could master.  We bought ten dozen eggs and started testing methods.  At the end, we were making five minute omelets—a little unorthodox but very good and nearly foolproof.

We called them “five minute omelets.”  You really can cook them in five minutes.  And the method is easy.

If you’ve ever made an omelet that didn’t fold well or broke apart or had a tough skin, consider this method.

The Method
Getting the omelet to cook through without over cooking the skin is a challenge. You can lift the edges of the omelet as it cooks to let the uncooked egg flow under the omelet and onto the pan surface. You can put a lid on top to trap heat coming from the hot pan.
But for some omelets, that isn’t enough. A surer method is start scrambling the eggs when they hit the hot pan, stopping when the eggs are partially cooked. Then pat the eggs into a smooth layer and let them finish cooking without a lid. It works. It’s quick and easy.
Instead of folding the omelet in the pan, simply tip the pan and let the omelet slide onto a plate. As the omelet slips onto the plate, twist of the wrist, and fold the omelet onto itself on the plate. (It’s easy to do; in two or three tries, you’ll have the method mastered.)
This method worked so well that we declared a victory. We recorded our methods, developed a couple of recipes, and described the method in an email.
Later we started placing a plate over pan for just a couple minutes once we stopped scrambling and then removing the plate before the omelet was cooked. That accelerated the cooking a little and gave us warm plate on which to serve the omelet but we didn’t leave it on long enough to hide when the omelet was done.

We had perfect omelets in five minutes.  Step-by-step instructions below.

WHAT'S THE KEY TO SUCCESS?  IT'S THE PAN.  IT HAS TO BE THE RIGHT SIZE-- AN EIGHT-INCH PAN FOR A THREE-EGG OMELET-- AND ABSOLUTELY NONSTICK OR THE OMELET WON'T SLIDE FROM THE PAN.
How to Cook an Omelet Using This Method

  1. Choose the right size pan.  A three-egg omelet requires an eight-inch pan.  The pan should be nonstick.
  2. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl.
  3. Put a pat of butter in your nonstick pan.  Place it on medium-high heat.  On our stovetop, a high BTU gas burner, that’s 6 out of ten.  Heat the butter to just short of brown and swirl it around the pan.
  4. Pour the eggs into the hot pan.  Salt and pepper the eggs.
  5. Scramble the eggs with a soft silicone spatula scraping the bottom of the pan and the sides.  The eggs will cook quickly and curds will form.
  6. When the eggs approach the consistency of cottage cheese with mostly solids but some liquid egg, stop stirring.  Use the spatula as a paddle to pat the eggs down into an even layer.  Place a plate over the top of the pan.  The plate will trap heat and help cook the top of the omelet.  It also warms the plate so that you can serve the omelet on a warm pan.
  7.  Let the eggs continue cooking until the liquids are set and the top of the omelet is cooked.
  8. Place the fillings in a row across the omelet just off to one side.  For most fillings, you will want them cooked.The omelet should slip around in the pan without a hint of sticking.  Move the pan to a plate, tip the pan on angle over the plate, and gently shake the omelet onto the plate filling side first.
  9. When the omelet is about half way onto the plate, twist the pan with your wrist folding the remaining omelet over that on the plate.  The omelet should be folded over with the bottom edge protruding about one-half inch.
What You’ll Need: Unless you’re going to make larger omelets, you’ll need an eight-inch skillet which is the perfect size for a three-egg omelet.  It needs to have a good nonstick surface so that it will slide out of the pan easily.  If you are making larger omelets, you will need larger pans.

You’ll also need a good silicone spatula to stir the eggs as they begin to cook and to slide under the omelet and loosen it if it starts to stick.  (Note from Rhonda- I've seen a Betty Crocker brand of silicon spatula at Dollar Tree for the last year.  The label does not specify that they're heat-resistant, but I called the company, and they're good to at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit!)

Get an eight-inch pan and start making foolproof omelets. 
 
 
The video above is collaboration from several faith groups- to everyone who has a mother, is a mother, or who simply 'mothers' others!

For Mothers' Day, my Primary counselors and I compiled some things from Primary this last year, below.  I hope you enjoy them!
_____________
Overheard in our Primary:

v  In the opening prayer on February 3:  “and please bless the Superbowl.”

v  “Choose the person with the blue shirt and the purple & black tie!” (said the boy with the blue shirt and the purple & black tie).

v  Family rules they’ve volunteered:  “No jumping on the bed” (then four others exclaimed, “Hey, that’s a rule at my house, too!”), “Laugh a lot”, “No dropping food on the floor for the dog”,  “Don’t run through the house and scare the cat.”,  “No wasting time”.

v  “I know my mom and dad love me ‘cause they play Monopoly with me even though they hate it”

v  “Why are you so old?”  (When Crystal told the children she might not always remember their names because she’s old.)

v  On a counselor's first Sunday in the presidency, one boy offered, “Smell my feet.  No, really, smell my feet!”

v  During a lesson on praying:  “Yeah, you can send smoke signals too because they go up to heaven.”

v  “But I don’t want to be a cow!”  (assigning roles for the Nativity)

v  Right after saying the prayer in Opening Exercises:  “That was fun!  Can I do it again?”
                           
-  -    -    -    -    -    -

The children have been writing down ways that they know Heavenly Father loves them and watches over them- come see our bulletin board! It’s covered with these paper hearts.  Here’s what some of them say:

v  He helped me…

…be thankful for my presents…

…feel better when I crashed

…be OK with having to pick up dog poop

…find my special pen

… be kind at my birthday party

… pray and be good so I won’t get mad

v  He comforted me when I was locked out of the house this weekend

v  He answers my prayers- my aunt was safe in surgery

v  We can be resurrected too

v  He created me

v  I’ll get to see my fish again

v  Jesus will come back

v  He watches over my cousin on a mission

v  I can live with Heavenly Father again

v  He gave me my baby sister

v  My hermit crabs

v  He helped my mom when she lost her finger

v  Having...   …a sun   …my teacher  …my family   …missionaries   …my pets   …life   …Jesus

Happy Mothers’ Day!




 
 
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Yogurt Cheese

This is 'strained yogurt', the same thing as authentic Greek yogurt;  use it like cream cheese in recipes, or eat it with a little jam or fruit.   Add a bit of salt if subbing this for cream cheese.  
Since the whey- which contains the lactose, or milk sugar- is drained off, you end up with a product that has twice as much protein and quite a bit less milk sugar.

All you do is pour plain yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined colander, set it over a bowl overnight, and check on it in the morning.  You can either leave it on the counter or do this in the fridge. The longer it drains, the thicker it gets.  It works best with homemade, unthickened yogurt, since added thickeners make it hard for the whey to separate away from the solids.  If you don't have cheesecloth, use something else that liquid can drain through but the solids won't, like the superstrong paper towels, or a clean flat-woven dish towel.
16 ounces of plain yogurt will yield about 8 ounces each of yogurt cheese and whey.  You can substitute whey in place of buttermilk in recipes.  I use it for part of the liquid when making bread.


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Sweetened Condensed Milk- use it to make my favorite, Two-Minute Fudge recipe.  For the closest version to a 14-oz can, use

1/2 c. (non-instant) powdered milk
1/2 c. water
1 c.  sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, optional
To read more about making it or how to use it, see here.
If you happen to need it, here's a recipe for dairy-free sweetened condensed milk 

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Easy No-Bake Cheesecake  

Another great way to use sweetened condensed milk!